As part of the now annual Microsoft Surface event, Panos Panay announced the next member of the Surface family, the Surface Studio. The Studio is ultimately a prosumer all-in-one device promising more functionality and versatility than any other desktop all-in-one PC by allowing the device to also turn a desk into a studio.

Front and center in what makes the Studio impressive is the size of the display: a 28-inch thin-bezel LCD display with a 3:2 aspect ratio, coming in at a 4500x3000 resolution and 192 pixels per inch. By contrast to 4K, this is 13.5 million pixels compared to 8.3 million in UHD, and Microsoft is promoting True Scale with the studio such that two A4 pieces of paper can be rendered side by side at full resolution and at a higher DPI than most standard office printers. The display is 12.5mm thin, with Microsoft redesigning the LCD stack to ensure a slim profile.

The display connects to the base via a specialist hinge, featuring 80 machined parts on each side for what Microsoft calls a ‘Zero Gravity Hinge’. This allows the display to be moved seamlessly and for any plausible angle, as well as taking on extra weight in studio mode. The display has two buttons on the right-hand side for power and volume. On the top of the display is the Windows Hello-enabled camera, with a 5.0 MP element capable of 1080p video (we assume 30 FPS). The Studio supports the Surface Pen, which can attach to the side of the display.

For color reproduction, Microsoft is advertising the display as supporting both DCI-P3 and sRGB with a simple toggle on the Windows sidebar to switch between the two. While Microsoft says that the displays are calibrated for both, this has fundamental issues with color reproduction.

In the base is a set of arguably last-generation specifications: 6th generation (Skylake) Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processor options (probably 65W desktop parts?) paired with up to 32GB of DDR4 memory (probably DDR4-2133). This comes with a NVIDIA GTX 965M 2GB for two of the three options, and a GTX 980M 4GB on the high-end model. Connectivity comes via USB 3.0, rather than USB 3.1/Thunderbolt. Storage is labeled as ‘1TB or 2TB Rapid Hybrid Drive’ options, which in the presentation looked like an M.2 drive but as yet it has been unstated if this is SATA or PCIe (or if a Rapid Hybrid Drive actually means an SSHD).

Microsoft Surface Studio
CPU Intel Core i5
Skylake
Intel Core i7
Skylake
Intel Core i7
Skylake
GPU NVIDIA
GTX 965M 2GB
NVIDIA
GTX 980M 4GB
DRAM 8GB DDR4 16 GB DDR4 32GB DDR4
Storage 1TB 1TB 2TB
'Rapid Storage Drive' (SATA? PCIe? SSHD?)
Display 28-inch 4500x3000 LCD Display
12.5mm thin
10-point MultiTouch
Magnetic Pen Support
Connectivity 802.11ac WiFi (Intel AC 8260?)
Gigabit Ethernet
Xbox Wireless
IO 4 x USB 3.0
Full-Size SD card reader (SDXC)
Mini DisplayPort
3.5mm Headset
Camera 5MP Front Facing
Windows Hello
1080p Recording
OS Windows 10 Pro
30-day Office Trial
Dimensions Display: 637.35 x 438.90 x 12.50 mm
Base: 250.00 x 200.00 x 32.2 mm
Weight: 9.56 kg / 21 lbs
Price $2999 $3499 $4199

Connectivity comes via four USB 3.0 ports, a full-size SD card reader, a mini DisplayPort output and a 3.5mm headset jack. WiFi is provided by an 802.11ac unit, although Microsoft does not say which one (I’d hazard a guess and say Intel’s AC8260 2x2 solution). The unit also supports Xbox Wireless, allowing for Xbox controllers to also be connected for gaming.

The whole unit weighs in at 21 lbs (9.5 kg), and Microsoft has stated that it will be available only in limited quantities during Q4, with the official release date as 15th December. Current configurations available will be:

$2999 : Intel Core i5 (Skylake), 8 GB DDR4, 1TB, GTX 965M 2GB
$3499 : Intel Core i7 (Skylake), 16 GB DDR4, 1TB, GTX 965M 2GB
$4199 : Intel Core i7 (Skylake), 32 GB DDR4, 2TB, GTX 980M 4GB

Windows 10 Pro is included with a 30-day Office trial.

Edit: Originally this piece was posted with the incorrect Intel Generation code name in the title. It should read 'Skylake', not 'Haswell'. The piece has been edited to clarify.

Source: Microsoft

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  • drajitshnew - Thursday, October 27, 2016 - link

    Sorry, but it would have been better for still photography to have a Adobe RGB support. While for video a wider screen is required. Reply
  • BrokenCrayons - Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - link

    Microsoft's current CEO did specifically state that the company was going to try to emulate Apple, essentially making it one of the biggest "me too" businesses on the planet rather than being independently innovative. They're following Apple with hyped-up overpriced, outdated hardware that uses one or two gimmicks as crutches and they're lined up behind Google mining away at user data to build an advertising system. Reply
  • stepz - Thursday, October 27, 2016 - link

    I wouldn't count a 28" 3:2 13.5MP display a "gimmick". Media creation professionals can easily justify the price. The issue is that at the given price point almost no one outside that niche can justify buying one. Not being able to connect it to the latest and greatest workstation is not a big issue for a large fraction of the market, and having an all-in-one "just works" integrated package is a plus for some.

    That said, a display only version of this would be quite nice.
    Reply
  • Lolimaster - Friday, October 28, 2016 - link

    For that resolution as media creation, the screen is too small. Should've been 32-36". Reply
  • ymcpa - Monday, October 31, 2016 - link

    That is why they are selling it in limited quantities. They know it's a niche product. I believe they are hoping that OEM will copy the design and create a new product category, just like what happened with the surface. Reply
  • Gadgety - Friday, October 28, 2016 - link

    Well, if it works, and I hate to say this, unfortunately it's the right decision. He's there to make money for the share holders. That's why he was put in charge. Nadella even emulated Jobs, looking the most Jobs-alike svelte tech CEO at the event. Reply
  • KoolAidMan1 - Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - link

    A Wacom Cintiq 27" HD is $2500, and that is without a computer. This isn't meant to compete with consumer focused iMacs that are $1000-$2000 cheaper, this is a purpose built appliance explicitly made for artists that is made to compete with the Cintiq.

    The market is very limited but its a really nice and surprisingly well priced piece of kit.
    Reply
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, October 27, 2016 - link

    Indeed very interesting product! I Also would not mind to have the same screen with external Computer part for easier upgrades. This would so much rock with AMD new professional graphic card with build in ssd for graphics and videos!
    But even now this is superb for cad users, designers and Photoshop experts!
    Reply
  • Lolimaster - Friday, October 28, 2016 - link

    Kaby Lake is the same Skylake. Nothing differente, like the 4770K "Haswell Refresh". Reply
  • hansmuff - Wednesday, October 26, 2016 - link

    I like the machines, with the exception of having a 4GB 980M in the high-end. I mean, it's not like anyone could play with high frame-rates at 4500x3000 anyway but a 1070 class with 8GB would be what I want.

    If this is strictly a content creation machine, it looks awesome for that. But for everything else, I don't see it.
    Reply

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